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E3 2015 Hands-On: The Legend of Zelda: TriForce Heroes


Jonathan Higgins

Going into E3 this year, I was fairly confident Nintendo would announce something Zelda-related at their Digital Event besides Hyrule Warriors for 3DS. I wanted it to be Link“s ReAwakening, of course... but I wasn“t going to rule out other options, especially if they lifted from the engine created for A Link Between Worlds.

 

I“m rather disappointed the game didn“t stick with the "90's Link” aesthetic, but I“m proud to report that TriForce Heroes is everything you expect it to be... assuming you“ve played Four Swords Adventures or the Four Swords Anniversary Edition for Nintendo DSi.

 

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Triforce Heroes is a multiplayer Zelda game that focuses on co-operative play. It lifts most of its mechanics directly from A Link Between Worlds while also adding new components we don“t know much about yet, like an emphasis on fashion, plus a few other bells and whistles I“ll get to momentarily.

 

The demo was a short romp that tasked me and two other (human) players with clearing only a few rooms by solving puzzles, fighting enemies together, and defeating a boss. It feels a little different than Four Swords insofar as combat often requires the Links to stack on top of one another in order like a totem pole to reach an enemy“s weak spot. Sometimes I would be the feet that pivoted and faced the top player towards the enemy that he or she would shoot...and sometimes I was the shooter. The gameplay is very solid in this respect; stacking Links is as simple as a press of the A button when one is near. You can toss one off you just as quick. It“s virtually seamless.

 

Some of the things we did include shooting switches with arrows at different elevations, so they required the Links to stack and work together to defeat enemies that also weren“t always reachable with just one person alone. And there were parts where all three Links needed to be present, like pushing a super heavy box together to avoid spears as you progressed forward. The boss — an electrified monster — first let you hit it at surface level, then squished itself in to reach heights that required the Links to stack. TriForce Heroes definitely pushes co-op; that“s for sure.

 

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The only issue could be communication. I wasn“t able to get clarification, but given what the touch screen is used for... I don“t think voice chat will be activated for this game, online. The fact that it goes online is cool all by itself, but...you“re only able to communicate with other players using little Link avatars with cheery, sad, or pensive faces on the bottom screen.

 

I often had to instruct my peers as to what to do, or someone had to clue me in when I was a certain part of the totem and got confused because so much was happening at once. It should be fine if you and your Zelda Faithful friends all react and play together, but... if there“s a difference in skill, I feel like there could be potential for a communication breakdown.

 

All in all, TriForce Heroes definitely feels like a decent package. It should be fun to experience new co-operative twists on the already-established Four Swords formula, and even better to take them online! The game will be available this fall. Check Nintendo“s official website for more information.

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